3 Groups Agree To Combine for All Film Shows
Representatives of three undergraduate organizations, fearful of Dean's Office restrictions and competition from other groups like themselves, met last night and drew up an agreement which will, in effect, establish a closed corporation for University film showing.
The three, Ivy Films, the Harvard Liberal Union, and the UN Council, met at the request of Dean Watson to work out a film policy which will remove any grounds local theatres may have for claiming the student showings as unfair competition. University lawyers feared that because the films are shown for a profit in tax-free University buildings there would be complaints, and possible change in the University's tax status.
Last spring, Watson demanded that the three groups oliminate the cut-throat competition among themselves that resulted in showings several times each week, frequently at a financial loss.
The agreement made last night stated that the three groups would show, jointly, not more than one film per week, and that they were to share equally in all profits or losses. Although film selections and policy decisions are to be made by a committee with members from each organization, Ivy Films is to arrange for the showings and will collect a fee for services.
In order to remove danger of suit from local theatres, the films will all be of an "educational" nature, defined as film classics, pictures illustrating specific arts or methods, films by famous artists, scarce foreign pictures, and experimental productions. In his request, Dean Watson stated if the films were of an educational nature, local theatres would have no legal grounds for action.
The three groups were by far the largest film exhibitors last year. However, other organizations, like the Advocate and the Harvard Society for Minority Rights, also had showings. To provide for these others, Ivy, the HLU, and the UN Council will leave a few weeks open each semester. None of these other groups was invited to last night's meeting.
Last night's meeting was arranged by the Student Council at Watson's request. On Tuesday, the Council will vote upon the measure, and then send it to the Dean's office.